Ep 10: For When Your Parents Get Older
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As a 32-year-old living in San Francisco, I think of three things every day:
Can I have wine tonight?
When do I get paid again?
Should I move closer to my parents?
It's the last one that plagues me the most,* as my parents get older. Especially as they seem to find themselves at the doctor once a week for old-people reasons. They live in the east coast, and I wonder (read: panic) that I'm not spending enough time with them. So WTF am I doing out here, living my life? I'm left feeling guilty, and afraid that time is running out, and fast.
And if they died tomorrow? Would I feel like I'd told them what they meant to me? That I knew them well? That I'd asked enough questions?
Sometimes I would practice having the heart-wrenching conversation with my Mom and Dad in my head and BAWL UNCONTROLLABLY TO NO ONE. How could I handle that conversation in person?
Then, my friend requested THIS EXACT TOPIC for a podcast episode and I knew I had to do it. I know at least three people who worry that their Dad won't be around to walk them down the aisle, or her Mom will get Alzheimer's like her mother did, and they won't know what her wishes were before her mind is gone. And that's enough people to become an episode, apparently.
In this episode, I interview two people. First, I interview my friend, Elli, a holistic life coach who moved to America from Germany at 22, not having a close relationship with her Mom and Dad. She shares what woke her up to finally repair that relationship, how to handle scary conversations, guilt, and fear, plus what she did what it became clear that time with one of her parents was growing extremely short.
Then, I do the scary thing: I call my Dad.